I just upgraded to iOS 10 on my iPhone 5. Besides slowing down my phone greatly, the messages app has gotten cluttered with useless features. One of these is that each contact's photo now shows up at the top of the screen when I am messaging them. Besides the fact that: 1. most of my contacts don't have photos (so I just see giant initials), and that 2. the photos are too small to distinguish anything for the contacts I have that DO have photos, I have a problem with how much space these photos take up on the screen. There's just not enough screen real estate to justify showing me 2 less lines of messages in order to show me giant bubble initials or a microscopic static image of someone.

So, how do I remove contact photos from messages in iOS 10?

Messages app in iOS10: enter image description here

vs. iOS 9: enter image description here

1 Answer 1


There is no way to change the layout of the Messages app to not display photos at the top of the screen.

If you go to your list of conversations and then tap on one, as the screen transitions you can see the difference in the height of the navigation bar at the top that contains the photo. (The conversation list uses a standard-height navigation bar that should be identical, or within a few pixels, of the height in iOS 9.) I took screenshots and measured - it's 42 pixels. Using normal-sized text (as set in the Settings app) that's approximately one line of text.

enter image description here

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